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INDIANA COUNTY: Scene in movie 'Southpaw' to be filmed at courthouse

by on June 26, 2014 11:00 AM

The Indiana County Court House — just a short stroll from the boyhood home of one of America’s most-admired movie stars — will itself double briefly as a movie location Friday.

The county commissioners Wednesday granted permission for actor Jake Gyllenhaal and a production crew of the new movie “Southpaw” to use the third-floor sheriff’s department as a set for the film about a boxer who fights his way to the top only to find his life falling apart around him.

Drew Nicholan, an assistant manager for site selection for Hope Films Inc., told the county commissioners that the film crew specifically wants to use the holding cell in the sheriff’s department for what will probably be a short but “critical” scene in the movie that links Gyllenhaal’s character to his daughter.

The filming will take place Friday evening after the courthouse has closed.

The commissioners Wednesday also recognized Joe and Judy Kovalchick, of Indiana, for their help in creating the Ghost Town Trail, which has now been in use for 20 years.

Ed Patterson, director of Indiana County Parks & Trails, said the Kovalchicks donated the land for the first miles of the trail that opened in 1994. Since then, the trail has had an estimated 1.2 million visits.

And in 2010 the Kovalchicks donated nearly 5 acres of land in Burrell Township, where a short section of trail was built to link the Hoodlebug Trail and the Ghost Town Trail, to Indiana County Parks & Trails.

Commission Chairman Rodney Ruddock called the Kovalchicks “a great family of Indiana” and said their support has been a “vital component of the trail’s success.”

The commissioners approved a change order to the automated weather observation system at the Indiana County/Jimmy Stewart Airport that is expected to save a significant amount of electricity. For an added expense of $1,670, controls will be added to the AWOS that will allow approaching pilots to turn on the runway lights at night by keying their plane’s radio microphone.

Airport manager Tom Robertson said the runway lights now are on at medium intensity all night long, even though few planes land overnight, especially during long winter nights when the weather is unfavorable for flying.

Robertson expects the county’s share of the additional cost can be recouped in a few months of electricity savings.

The commissioners also accepted a bid submitted by Marmat Inc., of Hooversville, of $344,100 for the build-out of about 5,000 square feet of unfinished floor space in the Indiana County Development Corporation’s HighPointe building at 280 Indian Springs Road, White Township. The renovations will allow World Health Industries Inc., of Jackson, Miss., to establish a retail and commercial compounding pharmacy there through a subsidiary, RX Pro Pharmacy & Compounding.

Byron Stauffer, executive director of the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development, said funding for the project is coming from the ICDC and from a state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Grant obtained with the help of state Sen. Don White, R, Indiana.

The commissioners renewed the contribution rate to the county’s 911 telephone access plan at $1.50 per line per month, the maximum allowed by state law, for the next three years. But, according to Tom Stutzman, director of the county’s Emergency Management Agency, the cost to the county to deliver 911 telephone service to the county’s 38,000 fixed wire customers is about $5.04 per line per month.

“We’re losing about $4 (per line per month) that should be coming our way,” Ruddock said.

And it’s possible that on June 30 legislation that provides partial funding to counties for each wireless phone will expire, eliminating an approximate $1 million funding stream to Indiana County.

“It is a big issue,” Ruddock said, adding that the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania has made the financial reimbursement for 911 telephone access a priority issue.

Randy Wells has been a reporter and staff writer at The Indiana Gazette since 1988. His regular assignments include coverage of the Indiana County commissioners, Indiana Borough council and the Marion Center Area School District. His email address is
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